Tbone says: USC 27, UGa 16. Tough one to pick. Most of the logical factors point to a Gamecock victory: Their top playmaker is out, we return a ton of starters, they are breaking in a new defense, we’re at home, their QB has zero quality experience, etc. With that said, the history of this rivalry is so full of bizarre kicks to USC’s gut, that muscle memory cramps up my stomach just for thinking that way. Look for Richt to call a conservative contest with a lot of runs and short passes; not because of Redshirt Frosh QB Murray, but because that is how Mark rolls. The Gamecock runstoppers will need to play tough. Look for Carolina to struggle on offense from time to time as we adjust to the angles of defensive attack. In the end, however, I think USC pulls away after halftime adjustments [CRAMP] and survives [CRAMP] a late Dawg rally. [Whew].
Buck says: USC 26, UGA 21. I’m highly annoyed with a large percentage of my co-workers and have a perpetual pit in my stomach. Must be Georgia week. I agree with a lot of what Tbone says. Without their primary vertical threat, I see Bobo dialing up a lot of slants, screens and dump-offs to keep Murray comfortable and compliment a pretty stout running game. The UGA fullbacks and tight ends worry me the most, because they have two quality guys at each position, and I’m not sure we have the linebacker play to keep them in check. First and second down when the ‘Dogs have the ball will be the key to the game. We need to keep them in third-and-long situations to have a chance. As far as the UGA defense, I have no idea. If not for one busted play, they keep LaLa in double digits for total yardage last week. But then again, it was LaLa. We have more weapons than we’ve had in a long time, and I think the playbook will be wide open. Look for a balanced attack with significant offensive contributions from about five or six guys. We hold them off late for the win, and are halfway to an undefeated showdown on the Plains.
G-Man says: USC 24 UGA 23. I hate this game. All I can think about is Harold Greene and Andrew Pinnock fumbling inside the five yard line to lose games against these jackwagons. How about another Quincy Carter repeat? That was one sweet victory. Don’t know if we could be so fortunate again as to have one guy make that many boneheaded mistakes against us. As for the game…I expect another contest that goes down to the wire. Expect UGA to blitz Garcia on every play. We will need quick decisions from the QB to win. For us, expect a strategy built around short passes to the wideouts. I hope we can run the ball but expect us to pass to set up the run. Methinks EJ held something back and will dial up some surprises for Mr. Murray. I share Buck’s concern that our LB’s are not up to handling their RB’s and TE’s. Need Cliff Matthews to come up big with pressure and need a solid game from the D-Line. Have to win the return game as it killed us last year. I’m predicting one explosive play from the Cocks in this area. With the veterans we have and this being a home game, I’m predicting Lanning wins it for us late with a dagger field goal.